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Order Description


Order Description

The Order Ciconiiformes has six families, 47 genera and approximately 120 species. Four of the families and 19 of the species are found in Georgia. Members of this order are commonly referred to as herons, bitterns, egrets, spoonbills, ibis, and wood storks. Vultures are also included in this order.

Family Ardeidae

This family includes the herons, bitterns and egrets. These wading birds generally have long necks, long legs, short tails and long spear-shaped bills. Herons have powder down, a type of feather that is not shed but becomes powder which conditions and protects the other feathers.
Species in this family:
    American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
    Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
    Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
    Great Egret (Ardea alba)
    Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
    Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
    Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)
    Redish Egret (Egretta rufescens)
    Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
    Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
    Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

Family Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, stocky birds. They have long, broad wings. Many of them feed on land rather than in water.
Species in this family:
    Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Family Threskiornithidae

Species in this family:
    Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
    Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)
    White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)
    White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)